The kidneys are the key organs that regulate systemic blood pressure. The kidneys are the bean-shaped organs at the back of the abdominal cavity located below the lower margin of the rib cage and the upper limit of the pelvic cavity. The two kidneys regulate blood volume, excrete acidic wastes, metabolize drugs, balance electrolytes and produce hormones. Yes, the kidneys does a lot more than making urine. In Chinese medicine, it is even believed that the force of the kidneys control the bones as well as fertility. In this article, I will focus on how renal disease can cause or provoke intractable high blood pressure.
Hypertension accelerates renal insufficiency. The opposite is also true. In physiology, it is always thought that diseased kidneys need high blood pressure to maintain tissue perfusion. This simply means that for the rest of the body tissues to keep on receiving nutrients and oxygen through the blood, the kidneys has to raise blood pressure. This is a natural survival mechanism which is incompatible with optimum health.
The renal vasculature is a low pressure bed. In other words, the kidneys are very sensitive to changes in blood pressure and tend to react with renal artery spasm (sclerosis) and raising blood pressure through the renin-angiotensin-aldolsterone mechanism. Don’t let this throw you, I will explain it.
Renin is the hormone that is secreted by the juxtaglomerular cells in response to decreased blood volume, low potassium, low adrenaline, or decrease renal perfusion pressure. Renin then converts a 10-amino acid protein (packaged in the liver) called angiotensinogen to 8-amino acid polypeptide called angiotensin I. Angiotension I is still inactive but is activated in the lungs by angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) to the active angiotension II. Angiotensin II is a potent vasoconstrictor. At the same time renin also stimulates the suprarenal glands (the adrenals) to secrete a hormone called aldosterone which in turn stimulate the kidney nephrons to reabsorb salt and water to expand blood volume. All in an attempt to raise blood pressure.
Now apart from atherosclerosis and blood viscosity, the greatest cause of essential hypertension is glomerulo-sclerosis. The glomerulus are the filtration apparatus of the kidneys. Glomerulo-sclerosis is fancy way of saying that the glomerulus are hardened with debris, fibrin clots (fibrosis), and acidic waste clogging the filters. As such the pressure builds up. The inflow is now more than the out-flow. The tubules or nephrons are also hardened at the same time. we call this nephrosclerosis. Diabetes can also accelerate this process as in diabetic nephropathy.
Please note that before hypertension is even diagnosed, half of the kidneys are gone. If your hypertension is accompanied by leg swelling, tiredness and puffy eyes in the absence of heart failure, you kidneys must have been sick. The sad part is that renal function tests like blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine may still be normal at this point.
To avoid end-stage renal failure and attendant hypertension, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. Stop all foods that hurt the kidneys like junk, fragmented and devitalized foods. All fried stuff, processed foods, drugs like asprin, too much refined sugar, heavy metals (lead and cadmium), heavy animal proteins, coffee and antihypertensives especially the diuretics.
To restore the kidney back to normal before it is too late, you must do some debridement with enzyme blend containing proteolytic enzymes like nattokinase, and serrapeptase. Kidney friendly herbs like milk thistle, uva ursi, parsley, corn silk, and buchu. Raw fruits and vegetables also help to restore renal vigor and function without harmful prescription drugs. To get rid of heavy metals, you do chelation with EDTA, malic acid, vitamin C, N-acetyl Cysteine, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, CoQ10 and Zinc.